Traditionally, this Korean soup was served over the lunar new year as a symbol of good fortune. These days, dok guk is eaten year-round. It's a simple, satisfying recipe, bursting with flavour.
- 350 g thinly sliced rice cake (see note)
- 150 g beef fillet, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg
- 3 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock or water
- 3 tsp fish sauce
- finely sliced green onion, finely sliced toasted seaweed, and toasted sesame seeds, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Soaking time 10 minutes
Soak the rice cake in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes until the slices separate easily. Drain.
Combine the beef, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Lightly beat 2 egg yolks with 1 tsp water and season to taste. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add egg yolks and tilt the wok to cover the base. Cook for 30â€“60 seconds until the bottom is golden. Flip and cook for a further 30 seconds. Tip out onto a chopping board and cut into thin strips. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tsp oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry for 1â€“2 minutes until evenly browned. Add the stock to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the rice cake and simmer for 5â€“6 minutes, stirring, until the rice cake floats to the surface and is tender. Reduce the heat, add the fish sauce and season to taste. Lightly whisk 1 egg white and the extra egg. Pour into the soup and stir gently for 1 minute.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with egg strips, green onion, seaweed and sesame seeds.
• Rice cakes are tubular-shaped rice pasta that come whole and sliced. Korean food stores are the best place to buy rice cakes, along with some Asian grocers.
Photography by Alan Benson